Probably the most narrow-minded you’ll ever find me revolves around the foods I’m convinced I don’t like. Opinions likely hatched from my childhood, there are just some things I will not eat–
Fresh tomatoes. Yes, many are calling to revoke my Southern card over this one. I can tell the difference between “good” and “bad” ones, I eat ’em chopped and seasoned in salsa, I love marinara and all things Italian…but I will not eat tomatoes in salads or on sandwiches or burgers (grape, plum, cherry, Roma, Beefsteak, Heirloom or WHATEVAH). This is why my husband says I’m complicated.
Cucumbers. Fresh from the vine or pickled into, well, pickles, I can’t stand their flavor. People try to tell me, “But you can’t even taste them,” which is a lie from satan’s pit because WHY WOULD YOU EAT THEM if their taste is invisible?
Blue Cheese. I recently learned the hard way gorgonzola tastes more like Blue Cheese than what I was expecting–Feta or Goat Cheese. Why I had all these soft cheeses confused escapes me, but stinky cheese tastes like it smells. Gross.
Citrus fruits. Love their juices, canNOT stand the texture. I hide ’em in smoothies.
In recent years, I have picked up a few new favorites, i.e., cole slaw, fresh salmon, pimento cheese. Once I learned that salmon does not taste like the odor it emits from escaping oils, I was willing to try it. My loss all those years.
You can imagine when we lived in Germany a year, my taste buds – and resolve – were tested. While I was willing to try new foods, no one could convince me to budge on my Ick List. And, really, why do people care so much when your food tastes don’t align?
I’m also a visual eater, so if something doesn’t look appetizing, unless I’m sitting around your dining room table and I HAVE TO EAT IT out of sheer politeness, well, fuggetaboutit. Like if you offered me cow’s tongue or liver. Organ meats scare me.
And then there are the foods with known gastro-intestinal consequences. Really, those should be an excused absence, right? One of the worst things to learn the hard way is the idea that Chili with beans is a good thing to fill up a house full of teenage boys.
There will be unpleasant consequences for the mother, but free entertainment for the boys.
So, maybe that’s why I’ve never tried Pintos; I thought they’d wreak havoc on my stomach and my decades-long record for Full Body Control would be at risk.
On a whim after Thanksgiving, it was in a spirit of good stewardship when I decided to make Pinto Beans using the uncuttable end of a spiral-sliced ham for flavor; I’m embarrassed to admit this is typically thrown away.
All I can say is I’ve wasted a lot of ham stubs through the years, once again to my loss.
Those Pinto Beans were so ridiculicious, I’ve been raving ever since! For under ten dollars and with only a few ingredients, you can make a high-protein, inexpensive feast…and surprisingly, there were zero gastro-intestinal side-effects. Who knew? That was almost as nice a surprise as discovering the meal itself.
Here’s how I made ’em; let me know if you try ’em and if you share my enthusiasm.
The World’s Easiest and Best Pinto Bean Recipe
- 16-oz Bag of Pinto Beans, sorted and rinsed. (I’ve never understood what it means to sort beans…)
- 3/4 cup chopped carrots (I used 3 ’cause I like ’em)
- 1 cup diced onions + additional for topping
- 1 ham hock, stub, remnant…**
- 6 cups water**
- salt and pepper, to taste
- hot sauce, to taste
1. Set slow cooker on high; spray sides with Pam for an easier post-meal clean-up.
2. Throw in all the ingredients except hot sauce.
3. Heat 10 minutes; reduce heat to low and cook 8-10 hours.
4. Book yourself a spa day with all the money you’re saving on food for this meal.
5. Served topped with diced onions and hot sauce, if desired.
Makes about 8 cups.
I’ve tried cornbread many different ways and right now I’m loving Golden Cornbread using Martha White Self-rising Yellow Corn Meal Mix. Yummo!
** I don’t always have ham on hand when I crave pintos; I found a cheap alternative by buying a single, thick slice of ham, and it was DELICIOUS chunked in with the beans!
** This recipe is adapted from Publix Apron’s Simple Meals; theirs is a soup recipe and calls for 8 cups of water. However, when I made this, I reduced the amount of liquid and it was more stewy, less soupy.
You do NOT need to buy the beans with a flavor packet; a little meat, salt and pepper are fine; if you’re the experimental type, feel free to add your favorite seasonings to the mix.
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